TOKYO -- The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued an "extreme high temperature forecast" for all 47 prefectures for the second straight day on Aug. 2, as a high-pressure system continued to envelop the archipelago.
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Aug. 1 marked the first time that the forecast has been issued to all prefectures since the system was adopted in 2012. The forecast is issued when the maximum temperature is expected to generally reach 35 degrees Celsius or higher on the day or the day after.
By 11 a.m. on Aug. 2, the temperature had risen to 36 degrees in the city of Ozu, Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, and 35.6 degrees in the town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, in the northeast.
The mercury also topped 35 degrees in the city of Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, and the city of Date, Fukushima Prefecture, both in eastern Japan. The Tokyo suburban city of Fuchu experienced heat of 34.6 degrees.
Sweltering highs of 38 degrees were projected for the central Japan prefecture of Gifu, the western prefectures of Kyoto and Nara and other parts of the country.
The JMA is calling on people to drink water frequently and up their salt intake, and to use air conditioners to prevent heatstroke.
The agency also forecasts downpours for areas mainly along the mountains in the afternoon, with Gunma Prefecture northwest of Tokyo expected to have 50 millimeters or more rain per hour.
According to the Tokyo Fire Department, 950 people have been rushed to hospitals for suspected heatstroke since July 29 within its jurisdiction.
(Japanese original by Asako Takeuchi, City News Department, and Hiroyuki Tanaka, Special Reports Department)